Assessment plays a huge part in this and we use it, sensitively, as a diagnostic tool to support our students’ learning. Formative assessment is useful as it enables teaching staff to design programmes of study so that individuals make progress towards their academic goals; we use the results from these regular but low-key standardised assessments to ensure that pupils are progressing as expected and amending the delivery and differentiation of lessons accordingly. We extend the curriculum both ways so that weaker children are able to succeed, and higher ability children can be stretched and challenged. For example, in Year 5+ Maths and English, higher ability children are taught by our senior teachers. We pay attention to transition points, allowing time for teachers to hand over appropriately and we track each pupil with scrupulous care.
Class teachers track pupil progress diligently, setting clear targets for improvement and progression. Many children achieve well above national age-related expectations at the end of the Prep School. Therefore, the journey our students enjoy in school is not centred around high profile, pressured testing. For example, we ignore SATS completely and whilst we must recognise the requirements of the GCSE course we are not solely defined by that.
Our continuing high levels of academic success, as measured by our GCSE examinations, from our mixed ability intake, is evidence that we achieve this aim.